Types of giving birth/delivery

What kinds of deliveries are there? (source:

Delivery is a beautiful phenomenon in which the fetus (the baby) along with the placenta, membranes and the umbilical cord passes from the uterus to the world outside the mother’s body. Whether you are a woman or a man, the amazing process of childbirth is what has brought us all into this world. Thus, it might peak your curiosity to know that there are actually quite a few different types of deliveries. Here we tell you all about them.

Vaginal Delivery

During a vaginal delivery, the baby passes from the uterus to the cervix, vagina and finally out of the mother. It usually occurs between 38-42 weeks of pregnancy when it is called a “term” pregnancy. It is the natural way through which mammals give birth. Vaginal delivery is usually spontaneous- in which the mother goes into labor without the use of drugs. Sometimes though, if the initiation of labor is not taking place even after 42 weeks, drugs or manual techniques may be used to induce the labor. Vaginal delivery is the most popular and most preferred today because:

  • Recovery is faster
  • Shorter average length of hospital stay (36-48 hours)
  • Baby has less risk of developing respiratory problems
  • Some research has shown that babies born through vaginal delivery are emotionally closer to their mothers
  • Breast-feeding can be initiated earlier
  • Infection rates are lesser

Instrumental Delivery

As the name suggests, instrumental delivery is a kind of vaginal delivery which is done with the use of instruments as per required for safe and easy delivery of the baby. This kind of delivery is usually opted for when the baby is having difficulty or taking prolong time to be push out of the vagina. These two types are the most common today:

  • Vacuum delivery: during this, the doctor applies a vacuum onto the baby’s head and carefully guides the baby’s head and eventually body out of the vaginal canal.
  • Forceps Delivery: the doctor uses a forceps (an instrument shaped like salad tongs) to grasp the baby’s head slightly and gently pull out the baby through the birth canal

Caesarian Section (C-section)

A Caesarian section is another method of delivery in which a surgical incision is made through the mother’s abdomen and uterus. The baby is then delivered through the abdomen and not the birth canal. Having a Caesarian section leaves a scar in the mother’s abdomen and usually the hospital stay after this surgery is a bit longer in comparison to a normal vaginal delivery. However, in some cases, Casesarian sections are preferred. Such cases include:

  • A large baby
  • Cephalo-pelvic disproportion(meaning the proportions of the mother’s hip bone and the baby’s skull do not match)
  • Placenta previa(a condition in which the placenta is abnomally placed such that it blocks the outlet of the uterus)
  • Lyeiomyoma(fibroid) of the uterus- it is a benign tumor
  • Twins, triplets, many babies
  • Past Caesarian section
  • Breech Presentation (when the baby’s feet are downwards towards the cervix and head upwards towards the uterine fundus)
  • Other uterine conditions

Caesarian sections may be elective (pre-planned) or emergency. Usually if risk factors are identified during the pregnancy, elective Caesarian section is preferred.

Vaginal Birth After Caesarian

In olden days, once you delivered through a Caesarian section, there was no possible way for you to deliver your next pregnancies through a normal vaginal delivery. However, with recent advances in surgery and obstetrics, this has become possible. In about 70-76% of mothers who try this technique, it is successful. However, the main deterrent to this type of delivery is that there are chances of complications, and most hospitals don’t have enough resources and trained manpower.



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